Harness training - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Chicago suburbs
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Harness training

I'd like to train Fergie to tolerate a harness so I can take her out sometimes, but I don't know the best way to do it. I've got the harness, and of course if I just put it on her she starts licking and biting at it. If I bring out her favorite toy, she's happy to play, so I'm figuring she'll learn to tolerate it. And I've tried walking out into the garage holding her with it on, so she'll associate it with going new places and seeing new things. She doesn't get to go out there on her own, but she's always curious about it because of the noises from hubby working on the cars.

However, hubby is concerned that by training her to not be afraid of the outdoors she'll end up clawing through a window screen and getting outside. (She is and always will be an indoor cat, I simply want to be able to take her to visit family or to the pet store.) I said fine, we will ONLY take her outside through the garage, never through a door with a screen, so we won't be encouraging her to associate screens with going out.

Any thoughts? Is there a right and wrong way to do this? And is my hubby worrying for no reason, or does he have a valid concern?

~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 12:55 AM
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Re: Harness training

I think your husband's concern is valid, but I think it is not so much her turning into a screen-escaper, but more of an I am now familiar with being outside and that is where I want to be. It may turn her into a door-dasher. With allowing her to be comfortable wearing the harness and allowing her to associate the harness with outside/trips, that may be enough to keep her satisfied.

I used to borrow the neighbor's two sons to help me to "kitty cat round up". I'd open the back door and we'd stand in a semi circle about 40-60' out from the back of the house and just keep cats herded into that circle for 5-10 minutes of exploring. When it was time to get everyone inside we would just clap our hands and they would head towards the door and back in the house. No one ever tried to go through any screens.

One thing I liked about doing that, was it let the cats get familiar with the area around our house and how to find the door to come in, if they got out.
heidi



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